Five tips for creating healthy client relationships

“An ounce of perspiration is worth a gallon of blood”
- Dr Marc Dussault

Have you ever worked on a project only to encounter glitches or some other stumbling block that sent your clients and/or colleagues into a spin? Perhaps this caused some tension between you and your client and left you wondering if this would ruin your reputation and result in less work?

Maintaining a healthy client relationship is vital if you wish to succeed in business. The key is building genuine and authentic relationships with your clients. It can be anything from simply calling them or even getting them a gift – the Basket Factory is a good place to start!

But before you spend some of that company money, here are a few tips to create lasting client relationships.

Email and call your clients

In today’s world, email is such an important tool in keeping all relevant participants (and stakeholders) up-to-date on projects. A lot of the time, conveying information this way is an integral part of keeping track of everything – it’s all there in writing after all, and makes for quick reference when needed.

However, some clients may place more value on a phone call, as an email doesn’t translate feelings or emotion. Often, problems are best discussed when you can hear a person’s voice and read in-between-the-lines. By so doing, you can usually discuss and find solutions quicker than going back and forth on email. Of course, in some cases standard email responses may be most appropriate while in others they may be the worst.

Keep the client informed

Even when things are going smoothly, it’s always a good idea to keep your clients informed about what you’re doing. You may be tempted to hide the fact that there’s an issue, but if you tell your client, immediately, it shows you have integrity and can even help you find a solution faster. If possible, have some idea of possible solutions before making the call – it will help you (and your client) focus on the solution(s) rather than the problem(s).

Just remember – you will never have as much time as you have right now…

Never make a promise you can’t keep

If you feel in your heart you can’t deliver on a promise, don’t make it in the first place! We’ve all heard the saying “it’s better to under promise and over deliver than over promise and under deliver”. Being realistic when setting budgets and timelines as well as allowing some extra time to ensure you deliver exactly what you promised as admittedly easier said than done, but in time, you’ll come to realise it’s better not to take that order that gets out of hand.

Always be in solution mode

Have solutions ready for your clients so that when there are problems, which is likely, no matter happens, you have a pre-set course of action to take. Never expect clients to know what to do – that’s why they hired you, to do what they can’t!

The saying “expect the best but prepare for the worst” rings true. If you think of solutions beforehand, you’ll show clients you’ve thought thoroughly about the problem(s) and you’ve got everything under control. Otherwise it’s risks being a free-for-all with fingers pointed in all directions.

Add value to your ideas

Thinking beyond what the client expects will add value to you and your business. For example, if your client needs a website, ask if they’ve considered certain things, like using Google Adsense to add revenue to their website, or perhaps adding it to a market-leading directory such as HotFrog or Australian Blogs. Adding a tracking system such as Google Analytics on their site will give them insight into their website visitors and what interests them the most. This principle seems self-evident but remains overlooked by many businesses.

This was a guest post. If you would like to submit an article for publication, please contact us for our publishing terms and conditions.

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